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A ticket to procrastination, via hypochondria

Posted on April 5, 2011

Writing may not seem like a physical job. We’re not lifting heavy weights, tis true, unless you count the weight of words. We’re not tossing cabers, or standing on our feet all day. But that’s not to say that there are not side-effects to the job. Work injuries, so to speak.

Fortunately, the big item, the paper cut, is fewer and farther between these days. I’m still surrounded by a sea of paper, but that’s more just my inefficient filing systems than anything work-related. But that day-to-day horror that is the sore neck and shoulders shows no sign of abating.

Today I went to see my physio. I’ve been putting it off for, oh, six or so months. Mostly because his last name involves beating people up (seriously) and that’s pretty much how I feel when I leave. Not his fault. No. He tells me it’s my fault for leaving it too long between visits.

Our conversations go like this:

Phyiso: “Where does it hurt?”

Me: “Here, here, here – oh, and here.”

Physio: “Okay, let’s cut to the chase. Where doesn’t it hurt?”

Ha.

Moments later:

Me: “Ow. No, really ow. This is hurting me much more than it’s hurting you.”

Physio: “True. I live for this stuff.”

Good grief.

Having prodded all my trigger points and wrapped me in ice for 20 minutes, he declared me ready to leave. He sat opposite me, in his shorts (have you ever met a physio who was a fan of the full-length trouser?), face serious, and proceeded to lecture me on how I need to take better care of myself and – and here was the pay-off moment of the whole visit – embrace hypochondria.

“Take it seriously,” he said. “Stop at the first sign of pain. Walk away from the computer. Take a break.”

So there you have it people – a ticket to procrastination.

[image: hobbiesfromtheheart/etsy via (nay, because of) Maxabella)

16 Comments

  1. Maxabella

    JUST what we need!!!! x

  2. MultipleMum

    Not liking the sound of that at all. I hope the back is feeling relieved after that work-out? Poor you! Hard to get your stuff done if you can’t sit in front of the screen 🙁

  3. MaidInAustralia

    My physio wears a tracky or swimmers (I often exercise in a hydrotherapy pool with her). Writing is one of the worst occupations for neck/back/muscle pain and joint stiffness. You’ve really got to take the breaks and get treatment before it gets too bad. Mine is aching now … I really need to practise what I preach!

  4. River

    Here’s some tricks from my physio.
    (who wears long pants)
    1. buy a kitchen timer and set it for one hour.
    2. when it goes off, stop working and roll both shoulders forward several times, then back several times.
    3. sit straight and tall, drop shoulders down, then pull shoulder blades towards centre of back, hold for a few seconds, repeat a few times.
    4. clasp hands in front and raise arms above head.
    5. stand, bend at the waist and shake loose.
    5. reset timer and repeat process during the day.
    Neck stretching exercises help too.

  5. Fussy Eater's Mum

    I will file that in my Reasons to Procrastinate box, which seems to be open all the time…

  6. Megan Blandford

    It’s the excuse you’ve always wanted, right?!

    I’ve always had these problems too – desk jobs are a killer for backs and legs. I walk every day and have dabbled with yoga, pilates, jogging, etc. but still – on those days when you’re really focused and working away, things can be very sore.

  7. Tracey from Central Coast Seachange

    I was thinking the same thing yesterday as I researching a story on Prive Health Insurance. My back was killing me, but I had a deadline to get the info to the writer and so I kept sitting uncomfortably.

    Giving piggybacks to my three year old doesn’t help either.

  8. Tracey from Central Coast Seachange

    I was thinking the same thing yesterday as I researching a story on Prive Health Insurance. My back was killing me, but I had a deadline to get the info to the writer and so I kept sitting uncomfortably.

    Giving piggybacks to my three year old doesn’t help either.

  9. Cate Bolt

    Why would you get off a chair if it’s only going to be cold when you get back? It makes no sense to me…and I’m perfectly healthy.

  10. Kristy

    I have terrible neck and shoulder pain too. My regular massage therapist got pregnant and I never heard from her again. I haven’t found a new person yet!

  11. Jo at BIG kids

    Hehe, had to laugh. As a dancer I am a total pro when it comes to physios(in that I have seen zillions!) Ironically, the visits are not due to the dance, but from desk time writing and from carrying the ‘giant’ baby. Blogging should come with pre-booked appointments (as well as a yoga commitment!)
    And for the record…no Physio shorts around here! (Male pilates instructors on the other hand…)
    Totally empathise with you allison. Complete pain in the neck (sorry!)OUCH.

  12. mum in meltdown

    Love this post. I suffer with ME so struggle with constant muscle pain every day and I realise that since joining the blogger world and spending far too much time on the computer does not help me in any way. I try to have massage but it’s just as painful to me as you going to physio…..so you have my full sympathy. Just came across your blog via another and so glad I did. Have enjoyed catching up on some of your posts and will be following. If you get a moment pop over to mine muminmeltdown.blogspot.com. Thanks

  13. Tai Tai

    Being a physio myself (who, I might add, NEVER wore shorts), this guy is right. You really need to take breaks from the usual computer position and get up to move around. I’m guessing you’ve got tight hamstrings, hip flexors, a sore neck and potentially sore lower back? Yoga is amazing for us computer-addicts! We need to stretch!!!! Feel free to email me if you ever need any words of physio advice!!! Hope you feel better soon x

  14. Lucy

    Al, I am wincing in pain for you. I have never been, nor had need to, but have spent many an hour in their rooms with both Charlie (after his accident) and my Mother.

    Like Alison says – have you had the full on ergonomic check thing done on your desk/computer etc? (Does your physio offer this?)

    Yoga?!

  15. Deer Baby

    Oh poor you. I don’t suffer from this which means I obviously don’t spend enough time sitting still writing!

    Do you have an ergonomic chair?
    Do you sit up straight?
    Do you take regular screen breaks?
    Do you wear wrist splints?

    Maybe it’s the gym?
    I’ve only ever seen a female physio. They wore shorts too.

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